My College Personal Statement

Hurune

New Member
Hey this is just about the final draft, it details a few events in my life where in I had a revelation or that shows my character, please dont flame it or anything, any advice would be appreciated, I'm sending it off tomorrow afternoon so get back to me by then! fyi theres a last paragraph that im still working on...



Personal Statement
There’s a place in Lake Forest Park called the sand pit, it’s basically an abandoned quarry filled with sand. A forgotten place where my friends and I would hang out a lot and play games like ghost in the graveyard or capture the flag. There are some fairly tall cliffs where the erosion creates twenty or thirty foot drops onto a sand. We decided to jump off of them and see how high any of us dared to go. Of course one kid wanted to go off the 20+ foot cliff and dared everyone to jump off after him. I was reluctant it was really high and I’ve never been one to do dumb dangerous stuff for no reason. But after everyone had gone down they all dared me to go and made fun of how scared I obviously was. I ended up jumping off of it, not because I wanted to for intrinsic reasons but because I wanted to fit in and be one of the guys. Of course knowing me I landed on a flat area and wasn’t able to roll down like everyone else. I ended up breaking my right foot, receiving a les franc fracture (a rare and hard to heal injury). This is a perfect example of what following the pack did for me.
I was out of commission for over 10 weeks unable to walk for most of the summer and much of the first month of school. From that time on I stopped trying to please my peers and did the things that I really enjoyed, not the things that would make them laugh. I found that I had real friends who actually cared about me and enjoyed being myself not the person others wanted me to be.
As I moved up grade levels theres a particular event from my freshman year of Highschool that stands out. A person reached out to me. He made me reevaluate my beliefs and question how I spoke, dressed and acted on a day to day basis. He’s gay. Theres nothing wrong with that, what there was something wrong with is how I had consciously slurred him and many other people like him in public. I said things like “that’s so gay” and “what a fag”. Despite that he befriended me, and is still one of my best friends. After he came out to me, I realized how much my words must have hurt him and made a decision never to use those slurs again
This mindset is really evident in high school especially in my senior year. Drugs are more available and prevalent than ever. A lot of people are pressured into using them, I’ve managed to stay drug free. Saying no isn’t easy, there are a lot of people who use drugs and its socially normal to smoke marijuana. I’ve seen a lot of kids get into harder substances and felt inspired to volunteer at SAMA (Science And Management of Addictions).
 

Vargess

Community Administrator
Hey, I've seen a few minor details to look after but it's mostly well done. I'll critique in red text so you can see what I've done. :D
I don't know all the requirements of your paper, so I'll add some thoughts on possible things you can do as well. Which may not be neccessary, but I'll add them anyway just incase ;) Hope it helps!


Personal Statement
You may consider adding an opening statement here that would say something about why or how you came to choose the things you chose to talk about in this paper. It just starts, seemingly abruptly.

There’s a place in Lake Forest Park called the sand pit. It is basically an abandoned quarry filled with sand. A forgotten place where my friends and I would hang out a lot and play games like "Ghost in the Graveyard" or "Capture the Flag". There are some fairly tall cliffs where the erosion creates twenty or thirty foot drops onto a sand(pile?). We decided to jump off of them and see how high any of us dared to go. Of course, one kid wanted to go off the 20+ foot cliff and dared everyone to jump off after him. I was more reluctant. It was really high and I’ve never been one to do dumb or dangerous things for no reason. But after everyone had gone down they all dared me to go and made fun of how scared I obviously was. I ended up jumping. Not because I wanted to, for intrinsic reasons, but because I wanted to fit in and be one of the guys. Of course knowing me, I landed on a flat area and wasn’t able to roll down like everyone else. I ended up breaking my right foot, receiving a les franc(spelling correct?) fracture (a rare and hard to heal injury). This is a perfect example of what following the pack did for me. [What did it do for you, exactly?]

I was out of commission for over 10 weeks. Unable to walk for most of the summer and much of the first month of school. From that time on I stopped trying to please my peers and did the things that I really enjoyed, not the things that would make them laugh. I found that I had real friends who actually cared about me and enjoyed being myself. Not the person others wanted me to be. {alternatively, you can say "being myself and not the person..}
As I moved up grade levels there was (As in past tense. It happened already.) a particular event from my freshman year of Highschool that stands out. A person(needs more description. Maybe "someone" or "a future friend" reached out to me. He made me re-evaluate my beliefs and question how I spoke, dressed, and acted on a day to day basis. He’s gay.(Perhaps be more desciptive? "After a while he trusted me enough to.." Theres nothing wrong with that. What there was something wrong with, is how I had consciously slurred him and many other people like him in public. I said things like “that’s so gay” and “what a fag”. Despite that, he be-friended me, and is still one of my best friends to this day. After he came out to me, I realized how much my words must have hurt him and made a decision never to use those slurs again.

This mindset is really evident in high school especially in my senior year. Drugs are more available and prevalent than ever. A lot of people are pressured into using them, however I’ve managed to stay drug free. Saying no isn’t easy, because there are a lot of people who use drugs and its socially normal (change to acceptable) to smoke marijuana. I’ve seen a lot of kids get into harder substances and felt inspired to volunteer at S.A.M.A.(maybe the dots? not sure) (Science And Management of Addictions). {not everyone knows what this is, like myself. May choose to describe this if it is acceptable.}
 

Socrates271

Turtle Lover
Ah if this is for convincing a college to accept you/showing what kind of person you are then I suggest covering more areas other than your discovery to part from the pact. I'd also start with an interesting intro that will briefly describe you in a nutshell. Take for instance mine.

This was my USNA letter:


Due to my intense desire to understand the world I’ve seen a great deal in a short period of time, considerably much more than my peers. My experience has always moved me apart from the pack. Yet, I was not behind, I was there leading. Despite hardship, my family pursued an active, healthy lifestyle in sports. Whether it was swimming, soccer, baseball, or tennis I was there among them pursuing our goals, pushing ourselves further and developing a strong attitude towards life. I’m proud to say we are a very athletic family and we stand by and consistently support one another. Because of my strong family I follow firm principles of integrity and character. My intense work ethic fuels my character and I am known to get the job done and do it well.

During the summer of 2007, I first journeyed to Austria and I discovered unimaginable beauty and culture. When I returned, I began to question life intently, but after a while I found more questions than answers so during the fall of 2009 I turned to Notre Dame High-school for answers. I had hoped for a new perspective of life that would resolve any questions, but I was again grasping at straws.

After traveling the world to the poverty-stricken areas of Puerto Rico for several weeks, last year in 2009, I’ve come to value my life and resources with greater appreciation. I also visited relatives in Austria and hiked on enigmatic mountains engulfed in mist thousands of feet above. Never before had my life perspective been so radically changed by a sequence of events. I reflected on my journeys for a while after returning home and starting up community college. As time grew on, my purpose in life became clearer and I knew the path I wanted to take. Until eventually, not a single soul could veer me away from my decision. I decided to join the armed forces like my father and his father before him.

I've spent my entire life figuring out what exactly what I wanted to do and which direction I wanted to take that I ended up for a long time going nowhere in particular. I’ve learned to listen to my heart, to what speaks to me loudest, and thrive upon that. This is where I’ve ended up.

To answer your question, I want to join the USNA because I can and will do a better job in the Navy than any other recruit. I intend to serve until retirement and I will pursue the protection of the United States of America to the best of my ability. For me, self-sacrifice for the protection of others is the noblest path of life and it is this path which I will pursue endlessly to live. The question you must ask yourself, is if you want a dedicated man or a goof-off recruit.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

P.S. I like turtles
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
Moved to Off Topic. Good luck Hurune - Varg made some good edits, I'll see if I can find anything else.
 

Hurune

New Member
Thanks guys!,
@ Vargess your input really helped the flow of the essay and fixed numerous grammatical/syntactical errors. For that I thank you =D
@ Socrates your essay's conclusion really helped me with my conclusion, how you answered the question is what I think UW is looking for too :) , I'm thinking something like how I deserve to go to college because I strive to self actualize and seek to capitalize on my time spent in college, i.e. not partying till I drop or something like that.
@ Spike thanks for looking at it, let me know if you find anything to change!
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
Going off of Varg's edit, so I don't redo a whole bunch of grammer/punctuation changes. :)

Personal Statement
You may consider adding an opening statement here that would say something about why or how you came to choose the things you chose to talk about in this paper. It just starts, seemingly abruptly. - Agreed.

There is a place in Lake Forest Park called the sand pit. It is essentially an abandoned quarry filled with sand, a forgotten place where my friends and I would hang out a lot and play games like "Ghost in the Graveyard" or "Capture the Flag". Along the quarry wall are some fairly tall cliffs where the erosion creates twenty or thirty foot drops onto sand piles. We decided to jump off of them and see how high any of us dared to go. Of course, one kid wanted to go off the 20+ foot cliff and dared everyone to jump off after him. I was more reluctant. It was really high and I had never been one to do dumb or dangerous things for no reason. But after everyone had jumped down, they all dared me to jump and made fun of how fearful I was. I ended up jumping - not because I wanted to, for intrinsic reasons, but because I wanted to fit in and be one of the guys. Of course, knowing me [I don't know you, so explain], I landed on a flat area and wasn’t able to roll down like everyone else. I ended up breaking my right foot, receiving a les franc fracture (a rare and hard to heal injury). This is a perfect example of what following the pack did for me. [What did it do for you, exactly?] - Agreed, need something more to explain.

I was out of commission for over 10 weeks, unable to walk for most of the summer and much of the first month of school. From that time on, I stopped trying to please my peers and did the things that I really enjoyed, not the things that would make them laugh. I found that I had real friends who actually cared about me and I enjoyed being myself, not the person others wanted me to be.

As I moved up grade levels, there was a particular event from my freshman year of Highschool that stands out. A classmate reached out to me, and we soon became friends. He made me re-evaluate my beliefs and question how I spoke, dressed, and acted on a day to day basis. Then one day, he told me he was gay. There is nothing wrong with that. What was wrong , was how I had consciously slurred him and many other people like him in public. I said things like “that’s so gay” and “what a fag”. Despite that, he be-friended me, and is still one of my best friends to this day. After he came out to me, I realized how much my words must have hurt him and made a decision never to use those slurs again.

This mindset [what mindset?] was really evident in high school, especially during my senior year. Drugs are more available and prevalent than ever. Many highschoolers are pressured into using them, but I’ve managed to stay drug free. Saying no is not easy, because there are many people who use drugs, and it is socially acceptable to smoke marijuana. I have seen many kids get into harder substances, and this inspired me to volunteer at S.A.M.A. (Science And Management of Addictions).

Need some sort of a conclusion... what is the question you are responding to? Also, colleges LOVE people who put their name in the paper - tell them why they would be proud to have you as a student there!

Pay close attention for added commas - there were many that needed to be added in. Just a note - in professional writing, you want to avoid using contractions (don't, I've, where'd, etc) as much as possible. Also, I noticed you use "a lot" a lot, which is a big no-no in writing. Just a couple things to keep in mind for the future. ;)
 

Hurune

New Member
@ Spike I thank you for taking the time to actually read my essay, your input is valid and I will make alot of changes to my essay =D I've had alot of mixed messages tho concerning things like including the colleges name, or sounding facetious.
the topic is:


The Personal Statement is our best means of getting to know you and your best means of creating a context for your academic performance. When you write your personal statement, tell us about those aspects of your life that are not apparent from your academic record:

a character-defining moment
the cultural awareness you've developed
a challenge faced
a personal hardship or barrier overcome
Directions
Choose either 1 or 2. Recommended length: 2 pages. (500-650 words)

Discuss how your family's experience or cultural history enriched you or presented you with opportunities or challenges in pursuing your educational goals.

- OR -

Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
Tips

Some of the best statements are written as personal stories. We welcome your imaginative interpretation.
You may define experience broadly. For example, in option 2, experience could be a meeting with an influential person, a news story that spurred you to action, a family event, or something that might be insignificant to someone else that had particular meaning for you. If you don't think that any one experience shaped your character, simply choose an experience that tells us something about you.

When I talked to an admissions officer they told me, make it a story that tells itself, show a before, during and after event periods that show your character and how the primary event changed you. Make it something that will stick in the readers memory (which is why I had the story about the cliffs, peer pressure etc. which most people can relate to.) the mindset was supposed to be choosing my own way and making choices with integrity, not making them to fit in. I don't know how to say that bluntly without sounding self-righteous so thats why I didn't.




you three have been more helpful then any of the adults I have spoken to for the past 2 months T.T thankyou guys!
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
Based on the details of the question, it sounds like you're headed right down the right path with your stories told. Good luck!

BTW, what college(s) are you applying to? Just curious, and no problem if you'd rather keep that private.
 

Hurune

New Member
I'm applying to:
University of Washington
Northwestern (chicago)
Rochester (new york)
Renssaeler
Gonzaga(washington)
Western (washington)
I'd choose UW over any of them but northwestern is a close second.
 
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